This Corps Relay Special Bulletin is being published in response to two major incidents that have occurred in Paris and London.

Paris / Charlie Hebdo

An attack took place in Paris this morning resulting in two people receiving non-life threatening injuries whilst the attacker(s) fled the scene. The attack took place outside the former offices of Charlie Hebdo next to a mural that pays tribute to the victims of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks. The attack is being treated as a terror related incident and was reported to have been perpetrated using a bladed weapon described as a machete or meat cleaver. The use of a bladed weapon, as opposed to a firearm, was the method adopted in the unsuccessful 2016 attack taking place on the first anniversary of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack.

It is reported that the perpetrator(s) fled the scene of the attack, however they later split up. There are reports from the media that one person was detained and arrested a short time after the attacks in the Bastille neighbourhood. A second person is also being held in connection with the attack.

The threat of such an attack was highlighted in the September Edition of Corps Relay (published on 3rd September 2020, see page 4 “Charlie Hebdo / Je suis Charlie”) and is likely linked to the ongoing trial of 14 people accused of assisting the 2 gunmen that perpetrated the 2015 attack. The decision of Charlie Hebdo to republish the 12 controversial comics depicting the Prophet Muhammad may also have been influential. It is likely the location was selected to deliver a message to Charlie Hebdo as the location of their “new” office is a secret.

The incident is also being monitored by UK Counter Terrorist agencies and update notifications are available through the ACT App

Croydon

At 02:15 this morning a long serving Police Sergeant was shot at the Windmill Road Centre in Croydon. The Sergeant, who is yet to be names, is reported to have been questioning a 23 year old man about Covid-19 when he was shot in the chest and later died in hospital. The 23 year old is currently in a life threatening condition after reportedly shooting himself. No police firearms were used in this incident and the suspect

The man is believed to have been detained for possession of ammunition and has since been arrested on suspicion of murder. He was brought to the custody suite in a police vehicle and the shooting took place inside the custody suite. The circumstances of the arrest, which officers were deployed during the operation, if and how the suspect was searches and whether he was placed in handcuffs are some of the areas reported to be under inspection in a multi-faceted underway by the Police Watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Media reports indicate that the suspect was known to Counter-Terrorism Police, having been on their radar in the past, although there is no confirmation yet as to the perpetrator’s motive.

Weapons Considerations

Whilst the UK incident involved a firearm it should be noted that attacks with firearms still remain rare in the UK. Bladed weapon attack are far more common due to the stringent controls over firearm procurement compared to the low levels of control over the sales of bladed items. Regardless of whether the attacker has a firearm or a different weapon, please be mindful of the following environmental considerations:

RUN HIDE TELL
• Know your escape routes everywhere you go
• Try to maintain a physical gap between yourself and an attacker, the greater the gap the safer you are
• If possible, create a solid gap using walls, doors, furniture, vehicles etc.
• Call for help/raise the alarm as soon as you can but do so in a safe manner

It is important to reiterate the considerations that are important in our respective businesses and organisations to ensure employees/remises are safe in the event of similar incidents in their immediate vicinity:

• Are you satisfied with your existing access control physical measures?
• Have you assessed whether Hostile Vehicle Mitigation measures are required?
• Is entry to your premises or estates adequately controlled?
• Can you deploy security personnel to perimeter areas which enable them to safely look out for vehicles being driven at excessive speed?
• Are reporting mechanism fast enough to enable prompt activation of lockdowns in the event of a suspect IED being found, or a speeding vehicle being detected?
• Who has operational control of Security?
• Are your personnel trained to understand and identify hostile reconnaissance?
• What contingency plans exist to address situations where someone or something worrying or suspicious is discovered?
• Do you have updated evacuation and ‘invacuation’ contingency plans?
• Have you appropriate full and partial lockdown procedures in place?
• Have you made all colleagues aware of the ‘Run, Hide and Tell guidance?
• Are reporting procedures adequate in terms of escalation of concerns, and police support?

Top Tips:

• Restrict both pedestrian and vehicular access to authorised persons and vehicles only
• Maintain a good flow of intelligence and information, including close liaison with local Police and Counter-Terrorism advisors
• Have the right calibre of trained people in place, including well trained Security teams
• Carry out regular tests (including Penetration Tests) and drills of all security and safety systems
• Implement both internal and external security audits
• Ensure that Contingency and Emergency plans are in place and are easily accessible for all relevant personnel
• Always ensure that Security teams are alert to suspicious behaviour

REMEMBER! It is vital that Access Control and anti-tailgating measures are as robust as possible, and that unauthorised persons are not allowed to gain access to your premises!

It is also vital that measures are in place to alert the police via 999 calls (not 101) or panic alarms in real time.

Current National Threat Level

The threat to the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) from terrorism is SUBSTANTIAL
The threat to Northern Ireland from Northern Ireland-related terrorism is SEVERE

NOTE: Threat levels are designed to give a broad indication of the likelihood of a terrorist attack

• LOW means an attack is highly unlikely
• MODERATE means an attack is possible, but not likely
• SUBSTANTIAL means an attack is likely
• SEVERE means an attack is highly likely
• CRITICAL means an attack is highly likely in the near future

REPORT IT!

You may end up saving a life or lives… and there is nothing more rewarding than that…

The following telephone numbers may be useful:

Corps Security Central Support: 0141 378 7000

Specific advice on Counter-Terrorism matters: 020 7566 0516

Editor: Neil Shanks ASMS BA MSc MSyI

>>Download Corps Relay Special Bulletin

 

 

Last Thursday 17th September marked Corps’ second annual Thank Your Security Officer Day as part of the wider Security Officer Appreciation Week.

This day of recognition provided us with the perfect platform to acknowledge and thank the hard work and dedication of all of our security officers, particularly over the past six months.

Last week, our SMT, HR team, contract managers and account managers were out and about up and down the country visiting our sites to give thanks to our officers where it is truly due. Sadly, we couldn’t visit all sites, but the team got around as many as they could and enjoyed a catch up and a cuppa with our frontline staff.

Our visiting teams sent us photos and their wonderful words of appreciation for our officers. We were overwhelmed with positive responses. Our clients also got involved and we received so many fantastic words of praise and compliments for the service our colleagues have delivered. Our client at Eversheds Sutherland even made sure our officers were all rewarded with a gift as a token of their appreciation.

As we transition once again to a work from home strategy following the latest government guidance, our officers will be once again the last people standing in many buildings – closing down facilities, supporting skeleton staff ensuring that they feel safe and protected.

We couldn’t be prouder of our dedicated colleagues and we’d like to take this opportunity once again to say thank you to our frontline workers, the people who keep our buildings and people safe and secure.

Search #thankyoursecurityofficer on Twitter and LinkedIn to read words of sincere thanks from our own teams and our clients for our second annual Corps Thank Your Security Officer Day celebration.

Here are just a few comments:

“Would like to thank all the security team who work at Kindeva Drug Delivery, Loughborough. They are reliable and keep our site safe and secure. I would particularly like to thank the Security Manager for the site, Wes King! He does an amazing job, supports the site in so many ways and supports his own team on site too. We are going through many changes here in Loughborough and times are uncertain, but Wes has continued to drive a great service and helped with a new security project on site. We would be lost without Wes and the team. Thank you all!”

Vicki Loach – UK EHS Manager, Kindeva Drug Delivery

“During the last six months our colleagues on all our sites have continued to deliver the exceptional service that is expected of a Corps Security Officer, and, for some of these colleagues, in the most trying of circumstances. I would like to say thank you to all the Security Officers who work for Corps not only in the South Region but across the whole of the UK.”

Paul Cloke  – Regional Manager – South, Corps Security

“We would like to thank the security team for their excellent work over the past year especially since March when they remained on campus and helped with keeping the campus open for vulnerable students and contractors for essential building works.

And of course, the many other tasks asked of them. We have had nothing but praise for their dedication and work ethic.”

Middlesex University

“Our facilities and security team in Oxford, Dan Preston, Lewis Baker and Peter Merritt have all achieved fantastic results over the last 12 months with successful events and rallies across the UK and Europe alongside our client. During lockdown they assisted the client in delivering equipment as staff worked from home and ensured the smooth set up of making the building Covid secure. Great work team we are all really proud of the fantastic work you are doing.”

Jake Lacey – Contracts Manager, Corps Security

“I wanted to personally thank Arnie, Mo, Paul and Rizwan for all of their continued support and vigilance especially during the last challenging months where activity and behaviour in the office has changed dramatically.

Arnie in particular has seen a great deal of change to his role during the day and has stepped up to the challenge which we are very grateful for. Equally Paul, Mo and Rizwan have continued to adapt and look after our requests outside of the core offices hours. Many thanks to you all too.

You’ll find individual boxes of chocolates for each of you at the front desk.

Keep up the great work!”

Wayne Quigg – Senior Facilities Manager, International Operations, Eversheds Sutherland

 

Corps Security begins pilot scheme which equips officers with speech to text and translation tools to overcome communication issues caused by wearing face masks, and addresses language barriers.

 Forty Corps Security officers across retail sites in Birmingham, Cheltenham and Exeter have access to transcription functionality (audio to text), written text translating capability and verbal conversation translation between two different languages. All services are delivered via mobile application and operate offline eliminating the need for internet connectivity.

Corps has implemented the transcription service to support communication difficulties posed by wearing a face mask. Individuals with hearing impairments can struggle to understand a security officer wearing a face mask as facial expressions and lip reading are severely hindered. This technology integration ensures security officers can effectively deliver critical safety information about Covid-19 and associated social distancing measures, and ensure the information is fully understood. It also ensures staff, clients and members of the public have a tool to help them raise any concerns and ask questions when a face mask can potentially hinder their own verbal communication.

When language barriers arise, the verbal conversation translation function offers an automatic translation of two-way dialogue as each person speaks, so there’s no need to take turns operating a translation tool. The written text translation service offers an alternative stream of communication. It’s helps a security officer understand what a person is trying to communicate, and helps that person feel assured that what they are communicating has been understood accurately.

This new speech to text and translation technology pilot scheme is led by Neil Shanks, National Account Manager, Corps Security. Commenting on the benefits of the scheme, Shanks said: “Language barriers present security officers with challenges and now we also have the added barrier of face masks which hinder communication. This technology integration could be a key differentiator in ensuring Covid-secure safety information is understood and adhered to, and in determining positive outcomes of stressful situations such as a missing child or preventing a suicide attempt.”

Mike Bullock, CEO, Corps Security said: “Integrating this transcription and translation functionality means our officers are in a stronger position to support our customers and members of the public, and it helps us improve the quality of our service. We can ensure important safety information is conveyed at a time where communicating health and safety measures is absolutely paramount.”

 

Today we are celebrating Thank Your Security Officer Day as part of Security Officer Appreciation Week.

Up and down the country, the Corps Security management team has been travelling to client sites to acknowledge and thank the important security staff that keep us, the workplaces and buildings we occupy safe and secure.

Please continue to join us in showing appreciation to your security staff this ‘Thank Your Security Officer Day’ and share your messages via #thankyoursecurityofficer on social media. We have been inundated with wonderful feedback, comments and photos which we are sharing on Twitter and LinkedIn some of which you can find below:

“All of us at Wood Green Hall would like to thank our dedicated security staff who have stood by us during hard times and difficult situations. We want Christian, Marek and Kandza to know that we greatly appreciate them and all their hard work. They’ve become part of the Wood Green Hall
family and we are so grateful to them and for the service they provide. Whether it be rain, storms, snow, wind, heatwaves or emergencies, they’re always there ready to serve. We THANK YOU AND APPRECIATE YOU!”
– Remi Banjo, Accommodation Manager Commercial Services, Wood Green Hall

“I would just like to formally write to acknowledge the excellent work that the security officers provide on behalf of Facilities Services at client sites in Cardiff, Kingswood and Hove. It would be wrong to pick one officer in particular, as they all go above and beyond their duties and are always willing to adapt and carry out whatever task is requested of them. During the recent months and the changes required to comply with Covid-19, every single officer has continued to perform their tasks with professionalism and sensitivity and have been instrumental in creating a safe working environment for our customers.” – Graham Beswick, Senior Contracts Manager, Kier Group

“During the pandemic, Building Manager Chris Webster at Pinnacle, Leeds showed immense capabilities to adapt quickly to the new Covid-19 restrictions and kept the building accessible to both clients and visitors. I thank you Chris for your hard work and dedication and going the extra mile to meet the requirements of the clients. We really appreciate it.” – Shahrukh Kayani, Corps Building Manager, Corps Security

#thankyoursecurityofficer

For the second year running, Corps Security is excited to host ‘Thank Your Security Officer Day’ on Thursday 17th September, to give thanks to its dedicated security team where it is truly due.

The celebration forms part of Security Officer Appreciation Week which is taking place from the 13-19th September. The international week of recognition provides a great opportunity to acknowledge and thank the important security staff that keep us, the workplaces and buildings we occupy safe and secure.

Working in partnership with a range of clients, the management team at Corps Security will be visiting sites this week to thank their security colleagues in person as well as sharing stories across several social media platforms to acknowledge those who go above and beyond, delivering an unprecedented level of service.

“The past six months have been particularly challenging, as our security colleagues have been on the front-line of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Government’s decision to classify SIA licence-holding security professionals as critical workers has meant that in a number of cases they were the last people standing in many buildings – closing down facilities, supporting skeleton staff, getting premises ready for reopening and generally supporting people as they navigate the new workplace normal,” comments Paul Lotter, Managing Director for Corps Security. “This is an opportunity for us to recognise their dedication and thank them for their service.”

#thankyoursecurityofficer

Please see a summary of the latest government requirements that will come into effect on Monday 14th September with some additional information on track and trace applications.

View Summary here:

Please refer to local guidelines in areas where lockdown has occurred and check with devolved government websites for particular requirements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

About Corps Security

Security Officer Appreciation Week this year is taking place on 13-19th September. It is an international week of recognition and provides a great opportunity to acknowledge and thank the important security staff that keep us, the workplaces and buildings we occupy safe and secure.

For the second year running, Corps Security is excited to host ‘Thank Your Security Officer Day’, this year on Thursday 17th September, to give thanks to our dedicated security colleagues where it is truly due. Security can often be an invisible and thankless task and Corps Security wants to bring security officers out from the shadows and honour those who work around the clock to ensure the safety of everyone within the premises they work.

The past six months have been particularly challenging, and our security officers have been on the front-line of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Government’s decision to classify SIA licence-holding security professionals as critical workers has meant that in many cases they were the last people standing in many buildings – closing down facilities, supporting skeleton staff, getting premises ready for reopening and generally supporting people as they navigate the new workplace normal.

This year, members of the senior management team will be visiting some of our sites to recognise the hard work of our teams and show our appreciation. We are also inviting all of our clients to participate and would like you all to join us in showing appreciation to your security staff this ‘Thank Your Security Officer Day’. Please do share your messages via #thankyoursecurityofficer on social media.

This month’s Corps Relay Intelligence Update includes:

The impacts of increased easing of Coronavirus restrictions

  • Crime rates
  • Lone working
  • Review of key worker fatalities
  • Extinction Rebellion

Security In The ‘New Normal’

  • Free assessment of your security operations

Current National Threat Level

  • UK
  • Northern Ireland

Recent Terrorism Developments

  • Berlin
  • Charlie Hebdo/Je suis Charlie

Demonstrations

  • Black lives Matter update
  • March for NHS pay justice
  • Extinction Rebellion

Security Issue Of The Month

  • Travel/transport

 

>> Download Corps Relay Intelligence Update September 2020 PDF

Chris-Stylianou

When did you join Corps and what does your current role involve?

I have been with Corps since 2018 when I TUPEed across from the previous incumbent. I was security supervisor when I started with Corps and then logistics manager, before becoming security manager in August 2019.

In total I’ve worked for more than 20 years in the security industry as well as doing other things like working in property management. Working in property management helped me see things from a different perspective. Having a varied background means I can be more helpful with a wider remit of tasks.

At The Gherkin I am responsible for all security processes in the building, both front and back-of-house. Day-to-day I manage the admin and payroll for my team and ensure all areas are secured and manned. I communicate regularly with City of London Police with regards to counter terrorism. I also create all staff procedures and guidelines and train Corps personnel as well as delivering security awareness training to non-security staff. This makes them feel more comfortable about challenging visitors and contractors.

How has your role changed as a result of Covid-19? 

Like for many people, the pandemic has involved long periods of working from home. I’ve also spent a lot of time refining procedures and managing my team. We split staff into key teams, so they weren’t all in contact with each other and our officers’ shift pattern changed from four-on, four-off to four-on, six-off.

Hundreds of phone calls and video meetings were a very different kettle of fish to the face-to-face contact I’m used to. Usually my role is very hands-on, and it was a real change making sure procedures were enforced from a distance.

The Gherkin is owned by an international company that has other buildings around the world, so it was great to work with global teams that were dealing with different stages of Covid-19. We had a process in place before the government officially announced lockdown, so this made things a lot smoother flowing.

We are now working to welcome back a steady influx of tenants. There will be much more change to come.

What are the main challenges you face in your daily role now compared to before?

Managing my team has become more complex. I have 40 team members and they each have varying needs related to Covid-19. Some need to shield and some have vulnerable family members, so I had to take a view on furloughing those employees. Doing the best for everyone and being fair is quite challenging. It’s a balancing act trying to keep everyone happy. People have a lot of worries at the moment and you have to be sensitive to that.

What’s it been like working on the front-line during the crisis, particularly in buildings which are at reduced occupancy? What have you had to adapt to and do differently?

We’ve done a lot of preparatory work for welcoming tenants back into the building. These procedures started to be created as we were going into lockdown. Now thoughts are more focused on managing breakout and social areas, high traffic flow zones, frequent risk assessments and ensuring we have adequate stocks of PPE. We need to keep people safe and distant.

Floor markers and signage that was initially deployed has had to be revised to meet changing guidance. Entrances and exits have been changed to support a one-way system and how we onboard visitors and contractors has also changed so we can ensure the building is Covid friendly.

During the lockdown period, I set up a Deliveroo account for our security staff to make sure they had food during their shifts – that was something I never thought I’d be doing!

Do you think people’s perception of the role a security officer plays will change as a result of the crisis? 

I’m not sure. I was shopping in a supermarket recently and there was a display of pictures that children had drawn to thank key workers. 12-14 occupations that children wanted to say thank you for were listed but ‘security officer’ was nowhere to be seen. Most of the places that were permitted to trade during lockdown had a security officer present even if they wouldn’t normally as standard practice.

It’s a worry that our roles and the importance of security could be been overlooked especially as we now know that the security officers have the highest death rates from Covid-19.

Security officers have a huge role to play in helping people abide by social distancing too as well as temperature checks and monitoring queue systems and making sure they are safe and effective. Terrorism has not gone away either– it’s not just Covid vigilance that is required.

The security industry is somewhat lost in the background and I think the work we do needs to be reinforced with the public. Generally, we can be thought of as a bit of a nuisance and it’s only in emergency situations like evacuations or terrorist threats that people then become thankful.

What positive things do you think we can take into the post-pandemic world?

I definitely think the pandemic has brought people closer together and made people appreciate the simple things more. It’s also made people realise what you generally take for granted. We lost our liberty for a certain amount of time but for some people this is normal. It’s made us really aware of  things like that in life.

The pandemic has forced people to think about others more and you suddenly realise things that people live through on a day-to-day basis that you had no idea about, like someone being a part-time carer, for example.

It’s good that people can see each other more now especially as many are facing financial hardship or loss. Being able to see other people and getting support is really important.

What’s your favourite thing about working in security?

I’m a really sociable person so I love being around lots of people with different personalities. There are challenges to overcome every day and no day is ever the same, I like that. We often have events at The Gherkin that are attended by very respected people including royals and famous people so it’s nice to be involved in safeguarding them.

What would you say has been your biggest highlight whilst working for Corps?

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of going to Gloucester with some of my team to take part in a counter-terrorism exercise. Security officers and building mangers from reputable establishments all around the country were there. I was so proud of my colleagues and the way they conducted themselves. My team were commended by the Centre of Protection for National Infrastructure (CPNI) and they said they were the best team. Our team was so honoured, and it was a very proud moment for me.

What do you like doing outside of work?

I volunteer as a football coach for a charity football club. I coach a group of 11-year olds, and I’ve been doing it for seven years. It takes up a lot of spare time, but I love it.